GOP Speaker Paul Ryan called President Trump’s “shithole countries” remarks “very unfortunate” and “unhelpful” at a WisPolitics event in Milwaukee on Friday.
“The first thing that came to my mind was very unfortunate, unhelpful,” Ryan said. “But you know what I thought of right away? I thought of my own family.
“My family like a whole lot of people came from Ireland on what they called coffin ships and came here and worked the railroads. The Irish were really looked down upon in those days,” Ryan addded.
“I hear all these stories from my relatives about ‘Irish need not apply.’ [The Irish] could basically get constructions jobs, cops or firefighter jobs. And James and Catherine Ryan came over and literally worked the railroad until they had enough money to buy a farm, which happened to be outside of Janesville, Wisconsin.”
“Then their son, my great-grandfather, started a railroad business with horse plows and it’s an earth moving business which to this day is run by my cousins. It is a beautiful story of America, and that is a great story.”
“That is a story we have today, that is a story we had yesterday. And that is what makes this country so exceptional and unique in the first place,” Ryan went on. “So I see this as something to celebrate and I think it’s a big part of our strength, whether you are coming from Haiti. We’ve got great friends from Africa in Janesville who are doctors, who are just incredible citizens.”